Malaysian Media Awards Winners Showcase

2014 | |

Ford created World’s First-ever automotive city in Malaysia: Ford City

Advertiser: Sime Darby Auto Connexion
Brand: Ford
Creative Agency: JWT Malaysia
Credits: Mindshare — Joe Ng (Senior Executive), Elaine Lee (Manager), Bryan Chiang (Manager), Stephanie Looi (Senior Manager, Client Leadership), Kristine Ong (Partner, Client Leadership); Arestar Sdn Bhd — Aaron Lim (Manager); JWT Malaysia — Eugene Nyam (Account Director)

The Challenge
Ford lost its market share and Top 10 position within the automotive industry by the end of 2012. They have been slow in gaining traction amongst the younger segment. 2013 target was aggressive! Double sales, reclaim top 10 sales position and erase “Ford is my father’s car” perception completely.

The Solution – Insight & Idea
“You can sell a young man’s car to an old man, but you cannot sell an old man’s car to a young man”. Increasing Ford market share and tapping into younger group requires a change in strategy. We discovered an untapped opportunity in the lucrative market centres youth aged between 18-to-23 years old. Although still at high school, these young urbanites have high purchasing potential courtesy of their parents. Insights reveal that many of them especially those residing in Klang Valley own their first car as young as 18. Whilst the auto industry continue to rely on conventional advertising in TV, print and radio, insight tells us experiencing the car first hand increases the chances of closing the sale. However jiffy test drive does not work with them. Rather than waiting for them to walk into Ford showroom, we decided to be present where they hangout most often. The idea was to be relevant in their space, offering differentiated experience. The strategy was to intercept their Third Place ie: their campus. We adopted the entire campus and created world’s first automotive city! Every university student will become a Ford citizen in an exclusive domicile for the whole entire year.

The Execution
Taylor’s Lakeside Campus was adopted as Ford City and we brought to live all the privileges that come with being a Ford citizen. It was an experience like never before. To provide the full experience of being in Ford City, we knew the offering has to be consistently available for them. On a daily basis for the entire year, these young urbanites’ Third Place provided unique Ford experiences ranging from exclusive branded Ford VIP parking designated for Ford owners, thus creating the envy factor. We planted QR codes onto boards across campus allowing student to redeem various privileges from F&B, gym membership to free WiFi zone to stay connected to their social world.

The Results
The creation of Ford City created significant milestones in Ford Malaysia history. 7 of 10 people surveyed on campus intend to buy a Ford. 2013 become THE best year in 20 year history! Sales grew by 2.3X and Ford broke the 10,000 unit sales for the first time. That and the fact that the feat was achieved by spending ¼ of competitors’ media spend. Ford City is now a regional best practice in Ford’s world.